Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cain't help, lovin' that man o' mine...

Eric's own band, have done their first gig!
The gig at the Cat's Back, a pub in the more respectable end of Wandsworth, was fantastic.
My small input can be seen here. Yup, Brits will know, I totally ripped-off Top of The Pops. But it works.
See, check out my man on our balcony, on the new table and chairs we just bought. He's a good one.
He bought us this book, for our next day off (I think I'm the bad map-reader involved)
which even printed a Country Code for the discerning rambler.
I picked this walk, in Effingham, (unfortunate name, apparently nice place).
We couldn't find where the walk began, however, probably because in this publication (which was a little old, being a Charity Shop Purchase) every walk begins at the overground rail station of the town concerned. There are no maps (the clue is in the title, see.) and we were driving, which proved problematic.
Somewhere between Cobham and Esher, Eric and I found a car-park, which looked to be surrounded by a public park with signs for walking!
Where IS Elmbridge?
This was the map Eric's in front of. I've decided I like maps. I don't care if I can't read them, I like them. You know where you are with a map...
I like walks that begin with something like this, too.
Eric said he felt like he was back in Quebec, which warmed my little heart strings a bit.
Check out this twig-built shelter we found! It reminds me of a book I used to love when I was little, where a hedgehog builds his houses all different shapes until he finds one he likes (the round house rolls down a hill. Silly hedgehog...).
I love how this trees' roots are desperately clinging to the dry earth on the edge of a ravine, where the rest of the ground has crumbled away. Eric's doing his bit for clinging, too

Sunday, May 4, 2008

How the other half live...

I just read about the world's first billion dollar home today. It's in Mumbai, and is the custom-built family pad of petrochemical businessman and 5th richest man in the world, Mukesh Ambani.
This is the exterior. No two floors are alike, and nor do they contain any of the same materials, his wife decreed that if crystal was used in the ballroom (as it is, extensively) then it should not be used throughout the rest of the house.
It has 9 elevators, a four-storey garden, 6 storeys of parking lots, and an interior space of 400,000 square feet.
Here's one of the bathrooms.
This is the ballroom, the ceiling is 80% covered in crystal chandellier.

So why does any of this bother me? Well, because my experience of Mumbai was a world away from this mammoth display of wealth. Mumbai is a city of immense, heartbreaking poverty where people die in the streets.

This is the Laundry. Here, the public congregate either to work, thrashing laundry in troughs of sun-boiled water, (none of those new-fangled electrical washing machines here)
or to beg, because they know taxi-drivers like to shock tourists by bringing them here.
See the covered areas on the left and right of this picture? Families are living under there. Lots of them, amongst rats and filth, because at least there's water here.

And so, Mr. Ambani's home, built within 2 miles of this laundry offends me. The extremes of Mumbai bend your brain.
Apparently, Ambani 'used Indian workers wherever possible' to build his 525ft high tower. Now they'll be able to see it as they fight to do their laundry, assuming they have the luxury of a second set of clothes. How charitable of him.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

I was in a English!

These are the long awaited pics from the last dancing job I did back in February, my post on which you can see by clicking (I know there's a way to make the link look nicer, but my usual HTML trick ain't working!)

So anyway, for all of us who needed a translation of 'In Nomine Amoris' the kindly writer has obliged...
This is my "How DARE YOU have a higher leg extension than me" face.
Don't try this one with a hangover.
WooHOO! I'm like a windmill! Oooh, keep pulling shoulders down...
That all-important finger-hold for the turn...
Ah...too bad there's a mic stand in the way.
Uh huh, let's show 'em that nine minutes of pas de deux is pretty tiring.
Woh, red catsuits...Must mean it's one of those 'sexy dances'. Must try to be sexy!
Yeah, see I'm really ticklish under my arm....